Skip to Content

Can You Listen to Dolby Atmos Music on Airpods?

Are you someone who loves listening to music with surround sound? If the answer is yes, there’s nothing more enthralling than bringing that experience to your Apple AirPods. But can you play Atmos-enabled music on your AirPods?

Using the supported AirPods models, you can listen to Dolby Atmos music in Spatial Audio. You can also enable dynamic head tracking. Pair your AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, or AirPods (3rd generation) with an Atmos-supported iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple TV to enjoy the immersive sound experience.

Once you’ve got a suitable device and music, remember to turn on Spatial Audio to enjoy Atmos sound. Let’s look at how you can activate spatial audio settings on different devices, as well as how you can identify if you’re listening to the Atmos sound.

Can AirPods Play Dolby Atmos?

Listening music on airpods

You can play Dolby Atmos music on AirPods through Apple Music, TIDAL, or Amazon Music HD. However, you cannot stream Dolby Atmos movies or TV shows.

On the bright side, thousands of music tracks are available in Atmos for AirPods users. Make sure you have the updated app for Apple music on your compatible devices.

Apart from the existing Atmos music library, Apple continues to add new songs to its database. You can always enjoy the upcoming and latest audio in Dolby Atmos on your AirPods.

What’s great is that Atmos music will play automatically, without users needing to make a choice explicitly. If the song is Atmos-enabled, you will sense the difference on your AirPods right away. Just note, you must set Dolby Atmos settings under audio to ‘Always On.’

If you want to enjoy videos with Atmos sound, you should opt for the AirPods Pro or AirPods Max.

How Can You Listen to Dolby Atmos on AirPods?

For listening to Dolby Atmos Music, you must have the AirPods models that support this technology. Thankfully, there are plenty of AirPods versions that allow you to experience this surround sound. For instance, with the 3rd generation AirPods, AirPods Pro, AirPods Max, and Beats Fit Pro (on Amazon).  

In addition, you will require a compatible device to browse Atmos music. It could be your iPhone (7 or later), Apple TV 4K (tvOS 15), Mac computers with Apple silicon, or a range of other devices.

Some iPad models also come with Dolby Atmos support, such as the iPad Pro 12.9‑inch model (3rd generation and later), the iPad Pro 11‑inch, and a few others.

Note: Make sure to verify if your particular device supports Dolby Atmos. Check the device manual to find out more about the feature.

Once you have the hardware ready, navigate to your choice of software that hosts Atmos content. Some of the most popular platforms are TIDAL, Amazon Music, and Apple Music.

At last, turn on spatial audio on your devices.

Spatial Audio Settings on iPad or iPhone

Before getting into the settings for turning on spatial audio on your iPhone or iPad, wear your AirPods.

Then, follow these steps:

  • On your iPhone or iPad, go to the ‘Control Center.’
  • Locate the control button and hold it for a few seconds until the ‘Spatial Audio’ or ‘Spatialize Stereo’ turns on. While the spatial audio is for multichannel content, the Spatialize Stereo works with two-channel stereo content.
  • You can check the status icons to ensure you have the correct setting.
  • Further, to adjust the Spatial Audio settings with head tracking, tap ‘Head Tracked.’ If you don’t want the dynamic head tracking, select ‘Fixed.’
  • To completely disable the Spatial Audio settings along with dynamic head tracking, choose ‘Off.’

Spatial Audio Settings for Mac With Apple Silicon

In order to turn on the spatial audio on your Mac, you must connect it to your AirPods via the Bluetooth connection. Wear the AirPods to continue with the spatial audio settings.

  • Check the menu bar for the AirPods icon. In case you’re using Beats, the icons will differ accordingly. Click on the icon to see if you’re listening to the Spatial Audio or Spatialize Stereo.
  • In case you’re browsing multichannel content, you will see Spatial Audio. On the other hand, for two-channel content, the icon will show Spatialize Stereo.
  • For turning on the dynamic head tracking, remember to choose ‘Head Tracked.’ You can also choose to stay with just the spatial audio setting by clicking ‘Fixed.’
  • Finally, to revert back to the default settings without spatial audio, select ‘OFF.’

Spatial Audio Settings on Your Apple TV

As a rule of thumb, you must connect your AirPods with your Apple TV using the Bluetooth connection and wear them before you enable Spatial Audio on your Apple TV.

  • To connect your AirPods to the Apple TV, go to settings.
  • Choose ‘Bluetooth’ under Remotes and Devices.
  • Alternatively, just long-press the home button on your Siri-supported remote when browsing Atmos content via the supported app.
  • Locate the name of your AirPods. In case you’re using Beats, look for this device in the list of available Bluetooth devices.
  • For multi-channel content, select Spatial Audio. On the other hand, if you’re browsing two-channel content, Spatialize Stereo will be the best fit. You can also check the status icon to confirm your setting.

How Can You Confirm if You’re Listening to Spatial Audio?

Sometimes, it’s difficult to differentiate between the usual stereo audio and the Spatial Audio. If that is the case, pair your AirPods with the Atmos-supported device and play any Atmos-enabled content of your choice.

Wear your AirPods and visit the audio settings on your device playing the content. Switch between stereo audio to spatial audio and back within considerable time intervals. Repeat the process a few times and concentrate on the sound.

You will quickly understand the huge difference between these two audio experiences. While Spatial is highly immersive and offers a 3D experience, Stereo sound will only feel louder.  

AirPods Recommendations

A pink airpod pro

If you’re all set to listen to Atmos music on your AirPods, you might not want to miss these recommendations:

AirPods Pro

If you’re ready to experience Dolby Atmos music without any compromise in the sound quality, get Apple AirPods Pro (on Amazon). Along with their amazing sound, you also get to enjoy transparency modes. Plus, it comes with a noise cancellation feature.

The headphones flaunt Apple’s H1 chip that enables simple and fast pairing. They also boast hassle-free switching between different devices. All of these perks, coupled with its low latency, make AirPods Pro the best choice.

AirPods Max

The AirPods Max headphones (on Amazon) are the only over-ear headphones option from Apple. They’re designed with great care to ensure the highest performance and quality sound experience.

What’s interesting is that you can hear sounds from the company’s custom-designed driver. The device comes with Spatial Audio support and includes the H1 chip too.